Lights, Camera, Blog Part 03: Video and blogging give customers a peep behind the curtain

Steve Davis Lights Camera Blog October Business Month Promo 2012

Lights Camera Blog is about creating content that gives prospective clients a ‘peep behind your curtain’. Steve Davis on set for the OBM Keynote promo video shoot.

There is something about ‘the forbidden’ that intrigues human beings.

Whether it is glimpsing things we are not meant to, being first to enter a new fashion store or pushing our bodies to unnatural limits, we are drawn to such things like moths to flames.

The rationale behind Lights Camera Blog, my October Business Month keynote and limited workshop series the following day, is that all of us are interested in taking a peep behind the curtain of products and services we love or are researching.

This would explain why people queue up to visit confectionery plants, biscuit factories, backstage tours, even mines and smelters.

The simple but dedicated acts of producing interesting and helpful content creates an opportunity for someone searching for the products or services we provide to ‘taste and try before they buy’ by reading or seeing our approach to using or providing the products/services, or by approaching the problem they are trying to solve.

With this understanding, we can then decide what to do about it. We can decide:

Whether our targeted consumers/prospects would prefer written content or video

Whether we produce our video content in house or outsource it

Where and how we make the content available to the public

These questions will all be addressed in the lead up to the keynote presentation.

Today, I want to compare a different video example against the SocialCam ‘quickie’ produced last week.

The Lights Camera Blog promo video

The video below would definitely be sharper if I had outsourced its production or at least had people helping me.

However, I wanted to demonstrate how a little dedication can craft something that conveys a message simply and effectively without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This whole effort took just under three hours but note, had I planned a few ideas first, I could have produced three, five or more in a similar amount of time.

The key points from this example are:

  • Turn off auto exposure and auto focus – I set these on manual otherwise as I moved in and out of the light the picture would have gone much brighter then much darker as the camera tried to adjust for a ‘standard’ exposure. Yes, this is a little over bright (or burnt) in spots but I was happy to live with that.
  • Add music or sound – by visiting CC Mixter you can listen to and select audio files of music and some sound effects to enrich your videos. Here is a link to morgantj, the composer whose work I used. My tip is to click on the Dig menu item and choose Advanced search. But please read the specific permission settings.
  • Bottom thirds – I ran an October Business Month logo with my keynote dates and name on screen as I mentioned it in the clip, to help people get the key information as they watched.
  • Adobe Premiere Elements – I edited this in Adobe Premiere Elements, a wonderful piece of software that I bought from JB Hifi a few months ago bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements for about $140. These two pieces of software will soon become indispensable to you as you ramp up video production and want fast ways for editing images for your blogs.
  • Exit screen – I used the software to create a prolonged exit screen with event information and links. Doing this and adding an extra 20 seconds to your video offends nobody but makes it easy for people wanting to find out more about you or your products/services. Note that I left the sound running under the exit screen for a little atmosphere.
  • Take still photos – If you can take some still photos while shooting video, you will always find they come in handy for complementary material and will be sharper than trying to extract images from your video. The one at the top of this blog post is such an example.

Now here’s the video.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NswF1f5sohc

Good luck in your endeavours. May you soon be ‘peeped upon’ by prospective customers or clients!

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